Home Menu

Press room


Press and Media contacts:

Millie Clarke
Head of press 
07933 032588

Rob Devey
Senior press officer
07970 907730

Email: press.office@naht.org.uk 

Click on the image above to
read our award-winning entry to
the TUC Comms Awards 2023.


School leaders' union asked to use 'all mechanisms' to oppose detrimental Welsh council plans

EMERGENCY MOTION - unanimously passed this afternoon

Two local authorities are acting in a manner that will have a detrimental impact of the terms and conditions of our members.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council are trying to force all primary schools to run paid-for childcare sessions before school in a bid to generate income.

When NAHT questioned the proposal with legitimate questions around the roles and responsibility and the principle of headteachers running childcare, the LA pulled funding from all schools that had been placed into their budgets on the assumption they would capitulate.

Cardiff Council has released a Cardiff Federation Strategy, without consultation with the unions, that seeks to urge schools to federate if a headteacher leaves, or retires in a bid to save money. Such a plan is akin to a England academy model, forcing our members to take on considerable additional responsibility of managing a number of schools to save on headteacher salaries without any consideration as to what is best for learners.

NAHT officials met with RCT Council this week and the LA will not see reason and our members feel they are being bullied.

Cardiff Council have refused to pause the plan and it has now been agreed by full council.

Conference calls on National Executive to give support to members in RCT and Cardiff and for all mechanisms open to the union, up to and including industrial action, to be utilised to protect and defend the terms and conditions of our members.

Proposer: Chris Parry (Cymru)

Seconder: Dean Taylor (Cymru)

Below is an extract from a letter we sent to Cardiff Council with our concerns:

1. The proposed strategy will have major ramifications on the provision of education across the city and, in turn, will have significant impact on the working lives of our members. It is unacceptable that changes of such magnitude are not brought to the attention of trade unions at a national level, as social partners, at the earliest possible stage of policy formulation. While we accept there was some discussion with local reps, anything that has such a significant impact on conditions of service must be negotiated at a national level.

2. Instead, we have been presented with what appears to be a fait accompli that is at an advanced stage of planning. To not have an opportunity to engage in meaningful consultation prior to the strategy being adopted by Cabinet flies in the face of the principles of social partnership. We must insist that the plans be put on hold until meaningful consultation has been conducted and that such consultation be conducted with the intention of reaching agreement.

3. The collaboration and federation proposals are being presented as “voluntary”. We are unsure what this means and seek clarification. For example, does this mean that any school which wishes not to be included in a collaboration or federation can opt out without consequence?

4. The federation strategy is predicated on the creation of Executive Head and Deputy Executive Head positions. You will be aware that the STPC(W)D currently has no provision for the creation of such positions. Nor is there is any current definition of what an Executive Head, Deputy Executive Head or Head of School is in Wales, what their role entails and relevant pay scales. It is simply not possible to operate away from the framework of the STPC(W)D, which is agreed through an established process of consultation through the nationwide social partnership model.

5. The creation of such posts creates uncertainty about role boundaries and the terms and conditions of employment of our members - for example:

  • Who would be the responsible person in each federated school?
  • To what extent will “Heads of School” become the de facto Head without the appropriate recognition and reward?
  • Will a “Head of School” be able to access the 20% extra discretionary payment and if so, how will an Executive and Deputy Executive Heads’ pay be differentiated? If not, the ceiling payment for a Head of School, sits outside of the STPC(W)D.
  • What are the consequences for teachers and school leaders in terms of their place of work and any expectations to be mobile across different locations?
  • What will these proposals mean in terms of restructuring and redundancies for a workforce that is already battered and bruised from funding shortages across the sector?
  • What workload impact assessments have been carried out in relation to these proposals?

These are issues that need to be ironed out and agreed with trade unions. This cannot be an after-thought and should have already been discussed with ourselves at a national level.

6. The strategy paper (on page 6) refers to costings that indicate these proposed changes will be cost effective. Can this analysis please be shared with the trade union?

It is regrettable that such analysis was not shared at an earlier stage with the opportunity provided for dialogue with social partners.

First published 04 May 2024